Senate GOP: Southern Poverty Lawyer a Poor Choice for Judge

April 28, 2022

Nancy Abudu isn't a household name, but her employer -- an anti-Christian group called the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) -- certainly should be. The "civil rights" organization, whose fall from grace rocked the Leftist establishment a handful of years ago, turned out to be a hive of racist scam artists that exploited its donors and sexually harassed employees. Turns out, the so-called hate watcher was the biggest hater of them all. And now, thanks to Joe Biden, one of their top attorneys is on the verge of becoming a judge on one of the most important courts in the country.

A trip to the Senate Judiciary Committee was never going to be a pleasant experience for an extremist like Abudu. After years of working for organizations with a history of targeting conservatives, Abudu knew she would have to answer a lot of hard questions. And the Senate's GOP didn't disappoint. In one heated exchange after another, conservatives put her on the hot seat for everything from the SPLC's listing of Family Research Council as a "hate group" to her jobs at the who's who of radicalism.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was one of the most vocal, drilling Abudu on her record, highlighting her time at the SPLC and ACLU. "You've never served as a judge. You've spent your entire life as an advocate. And as an advocate on the extreme Left. There has been a pattern of nominee after nominee that had been extreme zealots. But I have to say, your nomination, when I look at your record, I find deeply concerning. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hateful and extreme place. And their hate, among other things, has led to horrific violence."

Cruz brought up the 2012 shooting at FRC, where gunman Floyd Corkins brought enough ammunition to kill everyone in the building. Only by the heroic actions of Leo Johnson was a mass shooting completely averted. And how did Corkins know to target FRC? By his own admission, Cruz pointed out, the SPLC's "hate map," "where the Southern Poverty Law Center equated the Family Research Council with true bigoted hate groups like the KKK and the Nazi Party." "Do you agree with your employer," Cruz pressed, "that the Family Research Council is equivalent to the KKK or the Nazi Party?"

She dodged, noting that most of her career has been spent as a "civil rights lawyer." Cruz stopped her. "Could you please answer the question?" Abudu replied, "I can't comment to that. I'm in the legal department." Cruz wasn't deterred. "I'm asking if you agree with them. You work for them..." She parried again, until the senator said, "You're going to refuse to answer that?" No, Abudu insisted. "I cannot speak to a statement where I played no role in the research or the writing." "I didn't ask you if you did it. You went to work with them. Do you agree with them?"

Five times he asked Abudu to say whether she thinks Christian organizations with a biblical worldview are "hate groups." Five times she refused. And that ought to tell American voters everything they need to know.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) who might have been the most candid, admitting openly during his time, "I can't believe you've been nominated for this position. I can't believe that the President of the United States would nominate someone from this organization with this record. And I can't believe that you would sit here today and refuse to condemn this hateful, frankly, violent rhetoric from this organization with this record. It's astounding to me."

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who -- like Cruz and Hawley -- was also listed as an extremist by SPLC, was horrified by Abudu's refusal to distance herself from SPLC's labeling. "Can you explain why the three of us ended up on your hate list?" Blackburn asked. She said she couldn't.

When it was Senator Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) turn, he took issue to Abudu's feigned ignorance over the SPLC's hate list and the views of the organizations listed. Later, Grassley joined "Washington Watch" in absolute disbelief. "Can you believe that she would say that -- that she doesn't know anything about this? ...If you're just reading regular newspapers or commentaries about politics in Washington, D.C... you would know that these organizations have been listed in a very negative way by the center that you work for..." Like a lot of the Republicans in the room, Grassley agreed, "I would find it hard to believe that she would not be familiar with their list ranking all of these conservative groups as hate groups. I would have to question her credibility if she's not aware of a major portion of what that organization does."

But, as he pointed out, what's more concerning is her judicial views. "Everything with her background -- the ACLU, the Center she works for now," all fall in the category of political activist, Grassley said. "They believe in big government. They believe that you and I don't know anything, and Washington has all the answers to everything. And Congress is not a democratic organization... And remember, 99.9 percent of all the cases are finally decided by circuits. And she's going to be on the 11th Circuit. So she's kind of a Supreme Court, except for about 70 or 80 cases out of the year."

These are the kinds of extremists that Biden has leaned on to fill every political and judicial post. It's the complete opposite of Donald Trump, who was intent -- not on filling racial and gender quotas -- but finding the most experienced, respectable originalist candidate. If voters want a stark contrast between the parties, you won't find a bigger one than the ideological approaches of the two parties on the courts.

This nomination, though, sets the Democrats truly apart. Nancy Abudu would be extremely dangerous to Christians and constitutional values on one of the nation's highest courts. Her role at a disgraced organization like SPLC ought to automatically disqualify her from any job in government. If you agree, join FRC Action in stopping her nomination. Send a message to your senators urging them to vote no on Nancy Abudu